Lee Westwood prideful despite being on verge of golf record for most major starts without win

SANDWICH, England — Lee Westwood is on the verge of setting a record that some might consider dubious.

He chooses to look at it with pride.

If Westwood, 48, fails to win The Open at Royal St. George’s this week, he will have played in more major championships without a victory than any other player.

American Jay Haas played in 87 majors without a victory. This will be the 88th for Westwood, who has 44 worldwide victories, including 25 on the European Tour. But the Englishman has never won any of the biggest four.

“I do care about that,” Westwood said from England. “That’s nice, that record. It shows I’ve been a good player for a long, long time. There’s not many people who have played in as many major championships as me.”

And if considered the best player to never have won a major?

“Another accolade,” he said. “Yeah, I love it. Thank you.”

Westwood has 19 top-10 finishes in major championships, including 12 top-10s. He missed the Tiger WoodsRocco Mediate playoff at the 2008 U.S. Open by 1 shot, was second to Phil Mickelson at the 2010 Masters, was the 54-hole leader at the 2013 Open won by Mickelson and finished a shot out of the Stewart CinkTom Watson playoff at the 2009 Open.

Earlier this year, Westwood contended in consecutive weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational won by Bryson DeChambeau and the Players Championship won by Justin Thomas. He was in the last group playing alongside DeChambeau both weeks.

“I just think any time you play well anywhere in the world, it gives you confidence,” he said. “Especially Bay Hill and The Players Championship, where I finished second and had chances to win had two of the strongest fields of the year, around two very different golf courses. I feel like if I get my game where it needs to be and it’s good for that week, I can contend. I don’t know when it’s going to be in the right place or when I’m going to hole enough putts. But you just kind of load the dice to give you the best opportunities as possible. You can’t do any more than that, and then you give them a roll and what happens happens.”

Haas, 67, played regularly on the PGA Tour through 2008 and won nine times. He had 16 top-10s in majors, including nine top-5s.

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Lee Westwood prideful despite being on verge of golf record for most major starts without win

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